I'll be taking July off from blogging. It's going to be a busy fun filled month with company coming and all. But here's something those of you with toddlers, or memories of toddlers, might enjoy. As you may suspect, I wrote it for publication and it never was. Still, the message holds.
See you in August and I'm thinking Contest!
The thing about toddlers is – they don’t know a lot yet. Their lives for the next several years will be a colorful string of teachable moments. Grandparents have an important roll to play in unraveling some of that string. We’ve had six little sweethearts to help along this road. I’ve cataloged some of the moments that you may also have experienced. Here is what I’d love to tell those sweethearts – if only they’d listen. Um – their parents, our sons, didn’t, but there’s always hope for a new generation, right?
Dear Precious Toddler,
If we’re having a great time making a mess with cupcake frosting and I have to step into the pantry for eight seconds – I’m not leaving you forever! Really. If you follow me I’ll be turned around and on my way back before you can blink your big brown eyes and there could be trouble. We may run smack right into each other and get matching owies – my knee and your forehead. How about I sing “Five Little Monkeys Jumping on the Bed” for the whole eight seconds while I grab the food coloring. We need more blue. You stay in your chair and sing along.
When Grandpa is sitting nice and comfy in his recliner, smiling and waiting to read your favorite princess story, you’ll want to dash into his arms. But watch out! Grandpa has big feet and chances are you’ll get to them before you get to his lap. Then, Kawump! Over you’ll go. Grandpa will do his best to catch you, but it’s better to slow down and stop when you get to his fat laced up sneakers. The story will still be there when you do.
The difference between loading and unloading the dishwasher is very important. What a big boy you are wanting to help me do both, but mostly I’ll need you to help me put things In. We have to put them all in before we shut the door, too, with the rack all the way back. When the dishwasher is all done washing the dishes we’ll take them Out. I know just where they go in the cupboards. There’s no need to unload them onto the floor first.
Dog food and cat food isn’t that good for you. The bag it comes in is colorful and that doggy or kitty on the front is so cute. But it’s for animals. People eat different food. I know the dog sets a particularly bad example of how to eat – gobbling the way he does. It even looks like fun. Pay no attention to him. And you may think the cat is finicky, she is, but don’t try to share the tuna shreds in gravy with her. It won’t end well. She won’t eat them just because you do. How about crackers and juice instead? For you, I mean.
So, the next time you visit Grandma, we’ll go over this list. Okay?
See you soon!
These scenarios happen in every generation. The only joy in them is seeing it repeated with a new batch of toddlers – not mine. The best we can hope for, I guess, is that by kindergarten the little munchkins will have these teachable moments deposited into their memory banks with interest to spare when history repeats itself with their own kids. Yeah, let’s say that’ll happen.
Photo: What we'll be doing in July. Hope you'll be having just as much fun!